Flickr/Sam Anvari

Despite its reputation, Iran's capital city holds secret charms

You could be forgiven for reading the news out of Tehran—protests (and brutal oppression thereof), morality police, first place honors as the smoggiest capital—and crossing it right off your to-visit list. 

But writer Azadeh Moaveni says you'd be making a mistake. Moaveni, who spent her childhood in California, rediscovered her ancestral home as a young journalist in the late 1990s. She has lived in Tehran on and off for six years, eventually writing two books about her time there.

In her own words, Moaveni explains why, in spite of everything, she loves the complicated Iranian capital.

This interview was condensed and edited for clarity.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A Soviet map of London, labeled in Russian.
    Maps

    The Soviet Military Secretly Mapped the Entire World

    These intricate, curious maps were supposed to be destroyed. The ones that remain reveal a fascinating portrait of how the U.S.S.R. monitored the world.

  2. A scene from Hey Arnold! is pictured.
    Life

    Even Hey Arnold's Neighborhood Is Gentrifying Now

    Series creator Craig Bartlett explains how he built the cartoon city that every ’90’s kid dreamed of living in.

  3. An illustration of a front porch.
    Life

    America Rediscovers Its Love of the Front Porch

    In the 20th century, porches couldn’t compete with TV and air conditioning. Now this classic feature of American homes is staging a comeback as something more stylish and image-conscious than ever before.

  4. An autonomous vehicle drives on a race track in California.
    Equity

    Driverless Cars Won’t Save Us

    In fact, they’ll do the opposite of what techno-optimists hope, and worsen—not ease—inequality.

  5. Equity

    Why Sexual Harassment Rates Are So High in the Restaurant Industry

    Where working for tips means the customer is always right, waitresses, bartenders, and other tipped-wage workers endure stunning rates of sexual harassment.